Considering purchasing a JD 425 (1998 ), what should I look for?
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    Considering purchasing a JD 425 (1998 ), what should I look for?

    I went and looked at her yesterday and got the lowdown from the seller who is the original owner. Tractor has 600+ hours on it and the motor was repaired with the new camshaft gear kit a year ago. If I understood the owner correctly, the stock Kawasaki motor has a "plastic" camshaft gear which breaks sometime after 500 hours. The replacement kit apparently uses a metal (not sure which?) camshaft gear so hopefully the motor will be good for quite a while. Is there any other major (or minor) issue with this tractor that I should investigate before making the purchase? I've been trying to read up on this model but I only have so much time , so I'm asking for your assistance. Thanks in advance. Paul, Providence, RI

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    techie1961's Avatar
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    Hey Paul, I have four 4x5 machines and a bit of experience with them. They are great little tractors that are super capable and are at the very top of the Garden Tractor gene pool. I throw some pretty tough work at it and it does it without complaint.

    When you go to look at it and if it has only 600 hours or so on it, you're not going to find much wrong with it. That's very low hours for them. They usually break the cam gear around the thousand hour mark and above so it is great that it was replaced already.

    Check the rear end for leaks especially around the diff lock on the left side. Have a look at all of the fluids to make sure they seem clean. Make sure the tractor is cooled off when he starts it and if it isn't, it might mean that he has had it running and might be hard to start when cold. It's a carbureted engine with choke. Also have a general look at the engine for leaks. They often leak at the valve covers but even if they're the old plastic covers, they can be sealed up easily. You have to get the proper soft gaskets for them, not the hard ones for the aluminum covers.

    As with any vehicle that age, the tires might have some cracking. These tractors are notorious for not having taillights but they're not too expensive and there is a kit for keeping them in place on eBay or you can make your own. Look for cracked panels as well but there isn't much you can do about it if they are other than try to negotiate a lower price. They are expensive to replace but can be repaired to some degree.

    If he has maintenance records that would also be nice. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions on it.
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    I agree with tiechie (again). Oil and water leaks and cosmetics are their weakness. Most of the 4X5 that I see around here have 1200+ hours on them around here.
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    Thanks for that info!

    I'll probably be picking up the tractor later this afternoon and give it one more look over before the cash trades hands. I have been looking at this tractor for nearly 5 months on CraigsList when the owner was asking 3K+ for it. Just last week he lowered the price significantly (under 2k) and I jumped right on it . I had also been watching a JD 400 which I fell in love with, but at $1500.00 with a questionable mower deck , I'm glad that I waited it out. From what I observed , the main problem with the 425 is the side panel cosmetics. I started looking on eBay for replacements , but I'm a bit confused as to how it goes together. I saw what looks like an inner panel with a foam backer, a screen ?, and possibly an outer panel , but I'm not entirely sure.The owner says he has the manuals for it so hopefully it will show me whats up. Thanks again, Paul
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    The body panels on a 4x5 series tractor leave a bit to be desired. The plastics used are a bit brittle. But thankfully parts are readily available and at reasonable prices. Arguably the best parts support system anywhere is JDParts. If you look in the GTT tech library, there's an article showing you how to sign up and use JDParts.com. It's free and basically the same system your local dealer uses.
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    Bonehead Club Lackey Levi's Avatar
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    If I remember right my 425 didn't have a carburetor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levi View Post
    If I remember right my 425 didn't have a carburetor.
    The 425s did have a carburetor, while the 445 was fuel injected. See specs below for the 4X5 series.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 445 Specs.pdf  
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    techie1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpod View Post
    ...but I'm a bit confused as to how it goes together. I saw what looks like an inner panel with a foam backer, a screen ?, and possibly an outer panel , but I'm not entirely sure.The owner says he has the manuals for it so hopefully it will show me whats up. Thanks again, Paul
    Glad to hear that you're getting it and it sounds like it's a great price. The side panels are essentially one piece with a metal screen insert and that's all. There are also some foam gaskets which are kind of optional. A lot of people say that they are brittle but I haven't found that to be the case. They are made of Lexan (polycarbonate) plastic and I have had a few times where I thought that it was broken and it wasn't. You need to treat them carefully but they are fairly tough. Better than rusty metal panels in my opinion.
    Lorne
    My century barn redo

    1999 John Deere 455 AWS
    1997 John Deere 455 AWS
    2001 John Deere 445 AWS
    1994 John Deere 425 (Sold)
    60" mower, 60" mower, 60" mower with JD Mulch Kit, 54" Mower, MC519 and Powerflow, 47" Snow Blower, 54" blade with bucket add-on (Plucket), 54" blade, 54" blade, 51" Broom, and garden cart
    John Deere 314 Sold
    Grew up with a John Deere 140 and all the goodies

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    techie1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levi View Post
    If I remember right my 425 didn't have a carburetor.
    Was it hard to start as well?
    Lorne
    My century barn redo

    1999 John Deere 455 AWS
    1997 John Deere 455 AWS
    2001 John Deere 445 AWS
    1994 John Deere 425 (Sold)
    60" mower, 60" mower, 60" mower with JD Mulch Kit, 54" Mower, MC519 and Powerflow, 47" Snow Blower, 54" blade with bucket add-on (Plucket), 54" blade, 54" blade, 51" Broom, and garden cart
    John Deere 314 Sold
    Grew up with a John Deere 140 and all the goodies

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    Finally got her home (in two pieces)

    Went to drive up onto my mini-trailer and quickly realized that the 54 inch? mower deck was far to wide to fit on to the trailer. I pulled the mower deck (far easier than on my 212 )and drove the 425 onto the trailer with room to spare. I had to drive back the following morning to load the mower deck onto the trailer. Anyway, first thing that I need to do is change the fluid in the hydrostatic transmission (along with the filter) . What type of fluid should I buy and is there a synthetic version of it available ? I put all synthetic fluids in my German cars, so I'd like to do the same for the John Deere 425. Thanks, Paul

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